Nov 04, 2017

Clean Duplicates From Your Closet

Cleaning duplicates from your closet - 5 questions to ask yourself.

My biggest challenge when cleaning out my closet is duplicate items and if you’ve ever tried to choose between three white t-shirts, I’m sure you can relate. Today I’m sharing some of the questions that I ask myself when I come face-to-face with duplicates in my closet. Hopefully my questions will help you clean duplicates from your closet too!

How to Clean Duplicates From Your Closet:

1. Which one fits you best?

The answer to this question should be very obvious, so it’s a great place to start. Which item fits you best? Try each item on and stand in front of a mirror. How do you feel while wearing the item? Do you feel confident or have thoughts about ways the item could look better on you. If you’re really having a hard time, have someone take a photo of you in the same pose wearing the item and compare the two images. If the item is too big, do you like it oversized? Could you have it tailored? Would you? If it’s too small, it’s probably best to donate it unless you’re certain that you will fit into it soon (this is not one of those “if I could only lose 5lbs” situations).

2. How similar are they in style?

Sometimes we find a style that we like and subconsciously gravitate toward it. I have two black t-shirts and although one lives in my workout or pajama drawer (depending on the day, ha), I also have another hanging in my closet. One is a cotton v-neck and one is a silk tee. Sometimes though, we might end up with 3 black v-necks in our wardrobe for no other reason than the fact that wearing a black v-neck makes you feel good. In the photos above, one white turtleneck is form fitting and the other is oversized. Which do you like best? Which pairs best with other items in your closet?

3. Is the color the same?

Another easy one, how close are the items in color? If you have two t-shirts that are the same style except for a few shades of pigment, it’s more practical to pick one than it is to have both take up space in your closet. What is the difference between bone and ivory anyway? They’re both off-white!

4. Are they the same fabric or texture?

Sometimes I fall in love with a texture or fabric. I’d have a whole closet full of silk if I could and I love a good waffle weave sweater. If you’ve got two items that are similar enough in style, color, and texture I’d suggest that you consider choosing a favorite. I just replaced a favorite gray sweater that has seen better days with one of a similar style, color, and texture. Out with the old, in with the new (and less holy)!

5. Could you live without one?

It’s time to get practical. Can you live without one? If you remove one shirt, could it be replaced by another in your wardrobe? You likely don’t need two white-button downs, so make a decision. One has a keyhole and one doesn’t? Unbutton a couple of the top buttons on the one that doesn’t and call it a day.

Cleaning duplicates from your closet - 5 questions to ask yourself. Cleaning duplicates from your closet - 5 questions to ask yourself.

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Do you have any special ways that you clean duplicates from your closet? I’d love to hear!

Expand Comments

I always thought buying duplicates was a good thing— if you wear it a lot, and you sort of like mix and match elements as your “dressing” solution. Now I have duplicates that are same style, same color, same age, etc. it’s really painful to toss exact duplicates!!!! Or maybe I’m just looking for justification for making a buying faux pas.

I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a faux pas if you’re using a uniform for dressing. If you’re looking to have a more versatile wardrobe though, buying a lot of the same type of item might not serve your purpose.

Thanks for the tips. I really need this one, planning to clean my closet next month. To give way to my new clothes

I am awful about cleaning clothes out of my closet There are soooo many. These are some great tips.

Love the ‘could you live without it’ tip. I keep too many that are ‘nice to have just in case’.

This is a great reminder and white shirts are my biggest duplicate item. I am glad you posted this!

Looking in my closet, I see several black tops that are very similar. A few I’m not fond of, so they will be donated this week.

This is so hard when you gravitate towards similar things when out shopping. I try to keep track of things I already own but sometimes I end up with ANOTHER black cardigan, lol. 🙂

I really need to spend a good day cleaning my closet out. I feel like i Have so many similar things!

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